Home Animals Can A Hippo Bite Crocodile in Half? Is it Real or Not

Can A Hippo Bite Crocodile in Half? Is it Real or Not

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hippo and crocodile

Hippos are massive animals, and they have an equally massive bite force to match. They’re capable of exerting a force of about 1800 psi with their jaws, which is more than enough to bite through just about anything. This has brought a  reputation for them that can bite anything in half. But can they really do that? Can a hippo bite a crocodile in half?

Yes, a hippo can bite a crocodile in half. In fact, they’ve been known to do just that on occasion. Hippos are incredibly powerful animals, and their jaws are more than capable of inflicting serious damage.

can a hippo bite a crocodile in half

Can Hippo Bites Crocodile in Half?

The average bite force of a hippopotamus is about 1800 pounds per square inch (psi), whereas the average bite force of a crocodile is about 5000 psi. However, the hippopotamus’s canines are much longer and sharper than the crocodile’s, and the hippopotamus’s gape (the maximum angle between the jaws when the mouth is open) is about 180 degrees compared to the crocodile’s 120-degree gape. 

Hippos have extremely sharp teeth, which can grow up to 20 inches long. They also have a very strong jaw, which can generate a lot of force. When you combine these two factors, it is not surprising that a Hippo could Bite a Crocodile in Half. 

Hippos are massive creatures, and their mouths are proportionately large. They can easily open their mouths wide enough to accommodate the body width of a crocodile. Once they have the reptile near their mouth, all it takes is a powerful munching force to grind the crocodile in half.

Hippopotamuses are semi-aquatic mammals that prefer to stomp or gore their prey to death rather than bite it. Though Hippos’ killings of crocodiles are relatively common in the wild, mostly they stomp the croc to death. Hippos are very aggressive and often attack humans. When they attack, they often try to penetrate their victim’s upper body with their sharp teeth and powerful jaws. This can result in serious injuries, sometimes even amputation or paralysis.

hippo biting crocodile in half

Can Hippos Make Crocodiles Fearful?

The two animals have a complicated relationship. On one hand, the Nile crocodiles are some of the deadliest killers in Africa. They’re excellent hunters and can take down almost any prey. However, they’re also afraid of hippopotami. Crocodiles will never try to attack an adult hippo, but they will go after the calves. The reason for this is that water is an integral part of both crocodiles’ and hippos’ lives. They need to drink it and they need to live near it. This means that their paths will cross eventually, even if they don’t want to. When this happens, the crocodiles see the hippo calves as easy prey.

The hippopotamus is a large and aggressive animal, so it’s no surprise that it doesn’t take kindly to interlopers on its territory. If a crocodile is basking on a beach that belongs to the hippo, the hippo will get angry and run over to the croc, biting its tail. The crocodile will usually try to avoid direct contact with the hippo and will retreat back into the water. 

hippo herd

However, sometimes the two animals will show mutual respect toward each other, especially if they are of equal size. In general, though, the hippo is just angry and drives the croc away.

When a crocodile tries to take a nap on a hippopotamus’s turf, the hippo isn’t having any of it. It shows its displeasure by biting the croc’s tail—hard. The croc retaliates by biting back, but the hippo is just getting started. It starts grunting and shaking its head, then bares its teeth in a yawn-like posture that makes it clear: this is not a friendly warning. The crocodile gets the message and leaves, tails between its legs.

The mother hippopotamus is especially fierce when it comes to protecting her calf. If a crocodile threatens her baby in any way, she will not hesitate to attack—even if it means taking on one of the deadliest carnivores in the wild.

crocodile with hippo

Final Words

A hippo can bite a crocodile in half with its massive ivories. It penetrates the bellies or tail of the reptile, leaving the crocodile heavily injured and hence it dies from that injury. The size and strength of the hippo’s teeth are impressive, but what is even more amazing is the fact that they can kill a crocodile. The crocodile is a feared predator, but it is no match for the hippo. When a hippo wants to kill a crocodile, it will first bite it in half. 

Read our other Hippo blogs below:

References:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/hippos-play-attack-lion-crocodile-africa-spd
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7416829/
https://animal-club.co.uk/could-a-hippo-kill-me/
https://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/arts/television/review-eating-giants-hippo-on-animal-planet.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-36320744

Author Profile
Zahra Makda
Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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